How to fix an iPhone XR that won’t play YouTube videos

Video streaming on YouTube is free so many people are into doing it. You can watch various types of videos on any device with YouTube app for as long as it has a stable Internet access. Nonetheless, there are some instances when something is wrong and YouTube just couldn’t get to play videos. Problems like this are usually due to network problems on the phone or isolated errors within the YouTube app itself.

There are also some cases where the problem is isolated to a YouTube video or channel. Highlighted in this post are a few potential solutions that you can try on should you wish to troubleshoot YouTube videos that won’t play on your iPhone XR. Read on to learn how to deal with this issue on your iPhone XR YouTube app.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you happen to find this post while looking for a solution to a different problem, then visit our iPhone XR Help Guides page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. We may have already published articles that could help you fix your problem. Find issues that are similar with yours and feel free to use our solutions.

What to do if you iPhone XR won’t play Youtube Videos

Before troubleshooting, check and ensure that your iPhone is connected to your Wi-Fi network and that it can connect to the Internet. You can use your browser app to navigate through various websites to see if you can access them. If the Internet is working fine but still couldn’t play YouTube videos on your iPhone XR, then you may proceed and try these workarounds.

First solution: Restart (soft reset) our iPhone XR.

When dealing with apps problems like being unable to play YouTube videos through the app, soft reset is deemed to be the simplest yet very effective trick to try first. This process will eliminate the corrupted YouTube data and minor software glitches that might have caused the app to stop working properly. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either of the Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power off command appears.
  3. Drag the power off slider to the right and allow a couple of seconds for the phone to power off.
  4. While the phone is powered off, press and hold the Side/Power button again until the Apple logo appears.

After restarting your iPhone, launch the YouTube app and try to play videos. If the problem still persists, try the next possible solution.

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Second solution: Close the YouTube app then launch it again.

If you have an excellent internet connection but the YouTube videos still won’t play on your iPhone, it is possible that the problem is with the app itself. If this is the case, clearing out background apps can help. Doing so will end all suspended or background apps including YouTube if you’ve recently opened it on your device. Here’s how:

  1. On the Home screen, swipe up from the bottom then pause slightly in the middle of the screen.
  2. Swipe either left or right to search through the app previews.
  3. Locate the YouTube app preview, and swipe up the preview to close it.

After closing the YouTube and other background app, soft reset your phone then launch the app again. If that doesn’t help and your iPhone still won’t play Youtube videos, then you may continue to the next possible solution.

Third solution: Clear cache files and cookies of the YouTube app

Errant caches will cause apps to act up or to stop working suddenly. This could happen if the YouTube app has been active on your phone for quite some time and has accumulated a large amount of caches. This is when clearing app caches is necessary. Clearing an app cache in iOS devices is done by uninstalling then reinstalling the application. Here’s how you do it through the iPhone settings:

  1. Tap the Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Then select General.
  3. Scroll to and tap iPhone Storage.
  4. Search through and select YouTube app.
  5. Then tap Delete or Uninstall the app option.

A shorter method to delete the app is through the Home screen. Just follow these steps then:

  1. Lightly touch and hold the YouTube app icon from the Home screen until it starts jiggling.
  2. At the upper-left corner of the YouTube app preview, tap the X icon.
  3. Tap Delete to confirm the deletion of the YouTube app.

Restart your iPhone XR after deleting the YouTube app and follow these steps to install the app again from the App Store:

  1. From the Home screen, select the App Store icon.
  2. While on the App Store page, locate the Search box and key in YouTube app then tap the search icon.
  3. Then tap the Cloud icon or the Get button to continue.
  4. Tap Install next to the YouTube app.

Wait until it shows that the installation of the application has been completed. Afterwards, restart (soft reset) your iPhone XR. Doing so will refresh your phone’s memory and operating system. When the phone boots up, open the app and check if you’re already able to play Youtube videos on it.

ALSO READ: How to fix an Apple iPhone XR that keeps losing Wi-Fi signal, Wi-Fi keeps dropping

Fourth solution: Download and install the latest version of the YouTube app when available.

When using an out-dated app on your phone, chances are that some of its features become obsolete and the app may not work as intended. Just like your iPhone, it is recommended to regularly update third-party apps not only to enhance their functionality but also to clear out minor glitches that often caused the app to suddenly act up. If your phone has not been set up to automatically update apps, then you may consider doing it manually. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the App Store from the Home screen.
  2. On the App Store page, scroll down to the bottom and tap on Updates. You will be prompted with a list of pending apps updates.
  3. Search through the list to find YouTube and tap the Update button to install the YouTube app.
  4. Otherwise, tap the Update All button located at the upper-right side of the screen if there are multiple app updates available.

Once the update has been completed, restart (soft reset) your iPhone for the recent update to be applied. Then launch the app again and try to play some Youtube videos to check if the issue has been resolved.

Fifth solution: Refresh Wi-Fi connection on your iPhone XR.

YouTube is one of the many apps that require excellent internet connection to work properly. Having poor Wi-Fi signal will result to random video crashes or playback error. To clear this out, refresh your Wi-Fi connection on your iPhone with these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select the Wi-Fi menu.
  3. Then toggle the Wi-Fi switch to turn the feature off.
  4. Wait for at least 30 seconds and toggle the switch to enable Wi-Fi again.

Once your phone is already connected to the Wi-Fi network, launch YouTube app and then see if the problem is already fixed.

Alternatively, you can also refresh your phone’s wireless radios including Wi-Fi by utilizing the Airplane Mode trick. Just refer to these steps if you wish to try it:

  1. Head to your phone Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Then select Airplane Mode.
  3. Toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn it ON. Your phone’s wireless radios like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections will be disabled when the Airplane Mode is on.
  4. Restart (soft reset) your iPhone while the Airplane Mode is enabled.
  5. Once the phone boots up again, go back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu, and then toggle the switch to disable the Airplane Mode again.

After performing the Airplane Mode trick, reconnect your iPhone to the Wi-Fi network and check if you are already able to play videos on the YouTube app.

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Sixth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XR.

Among the underlying cause of the YouTube app issue are misconfigured network settings on your phone. That being said, resorting to network settings reset can be deemed as the next option and possible solution to try on. This reset clears out your recent network configurations and then restores the default network options. Here are the steps:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Then select the Reset network settings option.
  5. Enter your device code when asked to continue.
  6. Then tap Reset network settings again to confirm the reset.

Your iPhone will automatically reboot after the reset. Then launch the YouTube app again, check some videos to see if it the issue has been resolved.

Seventh solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone XR.

Often times, recent settings on your phone are automatically overridden right after installing new updates for apps and iOS.  This therefore may result to some conflicts that could trigger apps like YouTube to stop working. If this is the case, then the problem will likely be remedied by a reset on all settings. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Then tap on Reset all settings option.
  5. Enter your device code when prompted.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm all settings reset.

When the reset is finished, your phone will reboot itself. Once it’s back on, reconnect to your Wi-Fi network. Launch the YouTube app and try to play some videos to make sure that the problem has been corrected after the reset.

Still couldn’t play YouTube videos on your iPhone XR?

You may report the problem to the YouTube channel owner if the problem only occurs to certain videos. In this case, the problem may be just isolated to a video channel and not on YouTube itself. If all videos aren’t able to play through YouTube app, try playing them through the YouTube website. Just open a browser then navigate to the official YouTube site and then select random videos to test if they’re able to play. If none of the videos play through the website, then it’s possible that the YouTube site is currently down. While this rarely happens to highly maintained sites like YouTube, it is but inevitable. Rest assured, site downtimes like this are immediately resolved.

For more advanced solutions and in-app troubleshooting methods, you may escalate the problem to Google’s YouTube support team instead.

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